7 Ways To Beat the ‘Freshman 15’

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By Annika Tomlin

The dreaded “freshman 15” be a myth to some but a horrible reality to others. It’s not something to completely brush off.

As you gain weight, it’s harder to get it off. The old saying “seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips” is one to consider while making choices during freshman year. Here are seven tips to beat the “freshman 15.”

#1 HEALTHY SNACKS

Many grab a bag of chips for a snack. They’re salty and full of flavor—and many other bad things. Replace it with trail mix or hummus and celery. Find healthy snack options that still satisfy your cravings and don’t make you feel groggy. The more you do this, the simpler it’ll become.

#2 HAVE A WORKOUT BUDDY

Unless working out is your profession, no one really likes doing it. Grab a friend to help you through the workout. Friends or family members are great workout buddies and motivators. Having someone you naturally get along with makes the workout time fly by.

#3 CURB SOCIAL CALORIES

Parties, dates or social gatherings usually involve food and that makes it easy to skip making healthy choices. Try to look at a menu before you commit and see if it has healthy options. If not, suggest a different restaurant. Friends who know you are trying to watch what you eat will not give it a second thought if you decide to go to a salad bar versus Buffalo Wild Wings. Know your limits and stick with them.

#4 LIMIT ALCOHOL

It is called a beer gut for a reason. In college everyone drinks—just don’t overdo it. Overdrinking can lead to serious health issues or even alcohol poisoning. Add midnight munchies after a full night of drinking and you can easily max your daily intake of calories in just a few hours.

#5 DRINK WATER

Water is what keeps our body moving all day. It is not a one-size-fits-all weight-loss cure, but it will help your metabolism to process food at a normal pace. Drink a glass of water before a meal or snack and it will help prevent you from overeating.

#6 MANAGE STRESS

College stressful no matter what. Eating isn’t the right way to cope with it. Everyone loves a good piece of chocolate when they are stressed out. Switch up your stress relievers and do pushups instead. Doing physical activity fools your body into thinking you’re escaping the source of your stress.

#7 SLEEP

Sleep is important. While you are sleeping your body metabolizes food and helps you process all that you ate the day before. A good night’s sleep helps with stress and boosts your energy level. If you are tired, you are more likely to grab a sugar- and caffeine-loaded beverage along with midnight munchies to help you stay awake. Instead, take a power nap. It’s the same benefits of a caffeinated drink, with none of the calories. CT

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